Wednesday, February 21, 2018

President's Day Weekend

The whole 4-day weekend around President's Day was awesome. It was so nice to have four-days to just enjoy and be together. I didn't have my extra two kids for four days and, so it was really nice to enjoy just being us. Friday we didn't do anything spectacular. We mainly went to speech, did some shopping, both at Sams and at Wal-Mart. These are the top two money sucking stores that we visit more than once every year to four years. Anyway, we need to get those things done and we did and it was great. That night I actually think we went to bed on time, which is weird because it was a 'holiday', but you know you got to start the party off right sometime.

Saturday was a party day. We woke-up. I got up with the kids and let them watch some PBS kids. I didn't think it would be more than one show, but an hour later I wake up and they are still watching and Gaupo is up and boy did it feel good to sleep. But, boy did it also set us back a little bit. So, we got our hurry on. We made a breakfast of raspberry oatmeal muffins. Then we worked on Valentine's Day cards because the girls were going to a V-Day party that morning. I also quickly mixed up a batch of cake mix cookies, and wrapped a baby shower gift and headed to the baby shower. I left Gaupo home to make a 'mailbox' for the valentines and get the girls to the party. While he was doing that, I went to a baby shower. It was a small one, but really it was so fun. I got to know the lady it was for a lot better and it was fun to socialize with who was there. It was really fun, and I was sad to go, but the party the girls were at said an extra adult would be helpful, so I went and helped there. They had about 20 kids over varying in ages from 4 to 11. It was a quite the party. Actually it was great they did a fantastic job and didn't even need me. But, she said it was a very big help, so I am glad I went. Plus it was fun to see. The girls had a blast. They loved playing with the Barbies in the basement. They also loved winning door prizes and watching a show. They really did enjoy it. After we got home from that it was quiet time. During quiet time I got to work cleaning. I cleaned my bathroom, and got the girls started. Kylee helped me finish. By then, Tia was awake so she helped with the main floor bath. Then Gaupo helped with sweeping the kitchen floor and vacuuming while I mopped the kitchen floor. We got our whole house clean in one afternoon. It was awesome. Gaupo even spoiled me, by taking me to wash our van. It was so bad, so I am glad it got done. We got home and had dinner and baths and a movie.

Sunday was way more chill. We did the normal Sunday stuff of church and naps and visiting with my family. This week I talked to my brother and that was really fun and good to spend some time talking to him. After I was done talking to him, Tia really wanted to go for a walk, so we were going to go on one, but we stopped at our neighbors and visited with them. For a long time. Seriously, that was as far as we got, but the girls played with their dog, and the pullies in their garage, and I just talked. I feel like I haven't seen them in forever, so it was so good to visit with them. Also, it was amazing to watch Tia run those pullies. For me, I knew how to do it, but it seemed so unnatural for them to do that. However, Tia had it demonstrated to her once and she had it, no problem. I couldn't believe it. I mean it isn't hard you just push the one side up and the other side drops, but to me it doesn't make sense, but to Tia it apparently did. So, we had a great time and visit there and then came back and had dinner and went to bed. Gaupo and I just spent the night chatting. I am so glad that Gaupo humors me with that sometimes, because I know he would sometimes rather do something, but you know sometimes I just need to talk to him about real stuff and it was a really good talk. I also talked to my sister Klaire a bit and that was really fun too.

Monday was a great day. We actually didn't technically sleep in though for me I did, but it was only till 6:30. Anyway, we had a great breakfast--hashbrowns, bacon, eggs, and pancakes. Kylee asked me, "Why do we always have the same thing all the time?" We don't, but I guess Gaupo and I have been making this for breakfast often recently, so for her it was all the time. I just replied because it's so good. Anyway, after breakfast got cleaned up I worked on some insurance stuff (which I HATE by the way.) Then we went to Dizzy fun center. I apparently have never paid full price there because I was surprised by how much it cost, and didn't bring enough Tracker Bucks. This led to Gaupo running home, me paying for the Jr. Ninja course which at first Kylee loved and Tia did not like. After having them do just that for a bit, we finally decided to go for the kids area too. Luckily it was all paid for with tracker bucks because there is no way I could justify it with real money, but the girls had a blast. They climbed, jumped, slid, laughed, swung, and just played hard for about and hour and half. The last thing they did was the ninja course again and this time Tia did what I expected her to do the first time which was figure out how to do it. I couldn't believe it. Oh well, it was still worth it and good. These girls took great afternoon naps when we got to that point.

Anyway, after Dizzy's we came home and had FHE. This lesson was one I really wanted them to pay attention to, so I didn't want to wait until it was late that night. If you are wondering the lesson it was on taking care of our bodies. But mainly focused on not touching special parts. As in no one should touch them--not you or anyone else. Your body is yours and if some tries to you tell them no. If they don't stop then you tell Mom or Dad as you as you can. In a nutshell that is what we talked about it. I think they got it. Maybe? I tried, and we felt like we needed to do it now, because now is the time our kids are starting to go over to other people's homes without us and they need to be aware and know that their body is theirs and they can say no and should say no. And also that they need to talk to Mom and Dad about these things. So, after that we had lunch and treat and took naps. During naps Gaupo and I worked on taxes. Yeah!, not. I had taxes because I feel like very year I get hosed. I mean Gaupo gets paid and I work babysitting and contract work and I don't know if I do it wrong or what, but seriously we pay a lot of taxes. Okay, actually this year because of tuition and things we didn't owe anything, but the amount of taxes that was taken out because I work was seriously like almost all the money I eared doing one of them. It really makes you not want to work. Oh well, its done and paid, so on to the next thing. The next thing was dinner. I made sweet and sour meatballs which were really good. Then we went to swim lessons. Then came home and had baths dinner and introduced our kids to Cool Runnings. I think they enjoyed it, but Kylee's comment is my favorite. "It was good, but it had too many boys." Bahaha. That girl cracks me up. That night Gaupo and just relaxed and watched some Hogan's Heroes.

I really enjoyed this past weekend. It was really fun to play as a family. We also got a big snow storm, so that was fun to have a lot of snow, although I was sad that school was not cancelled on Tuesday because that would have been awesome.

 I love family time. Not so long ago, I thought that it was so important that our family actually do stuff (hike, sled, you know active stuff), but the truth is we just need to do stuff together, even if it is just watching a movie. My kids love movies. I think its because they don't get to watch very much tv, but it doesn't really matter why they love it. So, I love to do active stuff and I think they do too, but I also think that at this point it as long as we are all doing it together that it is all good worth while time. I am being to see its okay to spend time just watching a movie together and just enjoying being a family. But lest you think I am going to let my family be couch potatoes I still believe there is much good in getting out and doing especially as a family. I love family, and I have the BEST.

Some movies of Kylee for your viewing pleasure.

Bouncy slide
Ninja Course

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Thoughts On Dreams

We aren't doing anything special around here. We are just doing school, work, swimming, lessons, and playing. Kind of the same as always. We are all doing good things though. Tia is progressing really well in her speech, I think the majority of people understand most of what she says. Kylee is working hard in school and has recently learned how to tie her own shoes. I have continued to workout and it is totally blessing my life. I have so much more energy and organization to my day. I can't explain the difference in words, but I promise you it is very real. Gaupo is making good headway on his school projects. He is also still working hard to provide for us. We are so blessed to have him. So although nothing much is changing around here, it feels good where we are. We are all growing in our own small or big ways. Let me just tell you Heavenly Father knows each of us and our circumstances, abilities and talents, and he blesses us and tests us in and with those things we need most. If we will always trust Him, He will take us where we need to be.

All that said, and because I don't have any significant life stuff to blog about I thought I would talk about dreams. This is partly produced from watching Ice Princess tonight with my girls and it has been something heavily on my mind this year. Now, I also hesitate to write this because I don't want people to get false ideas or hope from this post. Dreams are something I fantasize about may or may not ever come true. They are not a goal, I don't constantly work towards them. They are just a fun thought, a place to tinker when I want to.

Dreams are funny that way. They change and evolve. You get new ones all the time. Like every time I watch Ice Princess or really any sports movie where the underdog does great things, I dream about doing that. Dream about learning I am amazing at something and then overcoming all odds and doing it. I remember how when I was younger I always thought it would be so cool to go to the Olympics. I remember one time I wanted to do it as a figure skater and another I wanted to do it as a bobsledder, and another in sand volleyball, and another as a ultimate player (now that that is an Olympic sport). But, those really are just dreams, because I don't have any desire to do what it takes to be that good. The reason why is because even though the chances of that dream coming true are like none, right now I get to live my dream.

I really always did dream about becoming a mom. I knew I always wanted to be a Mom. I also wanted to have a bus load of kids. I finally settled on 8 kids because if we had 8 then if me and my husband played with them at basketball we could have 2 complete teams. And I really did want to drive them around in a bus. Okay that would still be kind of cool, but once again never happening. So, am I living the exact dream I thought? No. Because even after I dated and married Gaupo and found out he had no desire to have more than 4 or 5 (which was fine), he doesn't play basketball. He doesn't like buses, and you know what we have 2 kids right now. I sure hope we have more, but I don't know for sure and I defiantly don't know how many. However, I do live a version of that dream. I am a mom to two wonderful little girls. I love it. I love sharing life with them. They make everything so much richer. Like sharing dancing in the rain, or a passion for rock climbing, or the skill of swimming is awesome. Watching them succeed at stuff they work hard to accomplish or watching them try something new and like or even not like it. I think those joys are so great because you also see them through when they are struggling and learning all the way to success. Also, this dream is lived with Gaupo, who is not the guy I dreamed about, but so much better. I love learning new stuff with him and comparing stories. I love our passion for food and making it the best. Supporting him and having him support me makes this family. So, I do live what I call the dream, but to be honest the dream isn't what I thought it would be. It is better but it is also harder, more confusing, funnier, and just different, but so much more complete than I could have imagined.

Just like when I was little and I had both possible and impossible dreams I have those now. They are so very different than then because different things matter, but you want to know my crazy dream?The one I don't really talk about because it is too crazy and confusing. It would give some people false hope and others total dismay. It has so many loose ends and not enough time. It is really crazy, yet not impossible. But before I tell you what it is please note, it is something I think about. I wanted to act on it and make some serious plans toward it, but I know now is not the time. Because yes, I have dreams and it is a totally great dream, but I am part of a family and I am a wife to a boy who has dreams too. That boy is living his dream. He works with computers and people everyday. He is a father, he provides for his family. He can sleep in and have vacation. In a lot of ways, I think he is living a part of his dream. I doubt in the way he thought he would, but just like me a version of his dream. And, not that my dream isn't important, but the time is not now, and I need to support him in his divine role of being the provident provider and head of our household.

That said, here it my most recent dream....I sometimes dream of moving back to Virginia to live in my Grandparents house, take over the greenhouses and run them while Gaupo farms the farm. I love Virginia, and I love the greenhouse. I enjoyed pretty much everything I did while working there except pulling weeds. I loved living in Virginia. I would love to have the opportunity to take this existing business and see if I could make it better. I would love to live in the country although I would deeply miss the closeness of stores, parks, and recreation places. I would love for my kids to chase the cats and have a dog like they so dearly want. I would love to teach my kids how to work, while working with them doing something I am passionate about. I would love to be close to family. I think it would be great to have the farm hung onto for one more generation. I don't know, it sound so simple when you just write down the overall general plan, but I promise you it is way complicated when you look at the details of it. However impossible this dream now seems, like I said before dreams are a place to tinker. So, when I have time, I think about how I could make it work. I think about how I would do it? What I would change? Would it / could it actually work? Do I really want to work that hard for that long? Could I really even do it? What things would I change? How would I make it us? Would Gaupo like it? What would he do? and then at least 1,000 other questions. I don't have answers to a lot and they are purely speculation, but its fun to think. I love to think. My mom use to say when we said we were bored "Good. It gives you time to think." I must have said it a lot or just learned to enjoy thinking, but I really do like it. I love to see where it takes me, because no two senerios are the same. Quiet thinking time is a gift, and so is the ability to have a space to write it down. That is why I love this blog. It give me time to think and reflect.

I love to have dreams. I hate dreaming at night whether the dreams are good or bad I don't like it, but I like having something to dwell on. I like having a place to imagine what if, and what would it be like. So, I hope my children dare to dream. I hope they have the courage to ask questions, and to think what if I could do that because I think dreaming does lead to action. It may or may not lead to the fulfilling of a certain dream, but it does lead  you forward. I know this is a super random post, but hey it happens. Sometimes we just need to spice it up with something different. Dare to dream people, our lives and world are changed all the time by people who dared to dream.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A Time To Be Us

This last week went much better than last and was a really great reminder that things will work out if we are patient and trust in the Lord. This last week things went good. I didn't take my kids over to Bethany's house and you know what it was actually kind of nice to have a little bit of calm before Trent and Tori showed up. We have even read some books in that time. I assume we will still visit Bethany again, but I do think that we will be taking more breaks from it than we were before because I was reminded how nice it is to be just 'us' for a little bit, and have some time to talk and be together. Also this last week, my kids had parent teacher conferences. They went really well. Kylee's teacher has noticed her improvement which I am glad of because she has improved. Although, she did say that Kylee is struggling with reading a little bit. Apparently on her reading test she did good at the beginning of the book, but by the end was just going by the picture. Which this is what Kylee does, I just didn't really notice it before. Anyway, Kylee knows what she needs to do and honestly if I can just nudge instead of push and let her make the choice to do things and how to do them, she is really working at her new goals. I just have to remember not to push, she doesn't like when I do that. Kylee is doing great in math. There are only a couple of things she needs to work on, but in other areas she is doing exceptionally good, so it was an encouraging report. Tia's teacher reported that she is doing well in school too. She needs to work on inviting people to play with her and joining other people. She also needs to work recognizing numbers 1-10, she has awhile before I am getting concerned about this one. Anyway, it was good to here that she is doing well, and I know that they must be encouraging the playing with other people, or maybe she is figuring it out I don't know. All I know is today Tia told me she wanted to talk to me (this is when she was suppose to be going down for nap), so I said okay, what do you want to tell me. She said, "I played with friends today. I played with Conrad." I thought that was a great start considering she has never mentioned anyone in her class really before. So, I think school is going well.

 I didn't actually go to parent teacher conferences, so this report is per Gaupo. I wasn't able to go to these conference because I got sick. Oh it was awful. I got some really severe abdominal cramps. They totally wiped me out. I didn't want to eat anything. Around 10:00 or so I wanted to finally drink something, and was able to get ready for bed, but anytime before that if I stood up I just felt like throwing up. So, I actually slept from about 5:30 to 6:30. Then till about 7:30. Then changed into my pajamas and slept some more. Then around 10:00 got up and got ready for bed and then slept again till about 6:00, when my back was hurting super bad, so I went downstairs and slept until about 7:30. Apparently, if I don't feel well I can sleep a lot. I was doing better by Friday, but still not great. Gaupo had the day off, so he took care of everything and I just kind of slept and did nothing. That night I was feeling quite a bit better, so after I watched the end of a movie I cleaned a little bit while the others were at Lego club.Saturday I was doing much better which is was great because Kitt and Matthew had planned to come visit us, and I really wanted them to come, but they couldn't if I was sick, so I got better. Just kidding, I was blessed to be doing much better. Anyway, I spent the morning tidying things up and making food. The girls and I also went on a walk up and around the school. It was a beautiful day and it was really nice to get out. Kitt and Matthew couldn't get off as soon as they hoped, so we had to have lunch without them. I grilled up some Teryaki chicken and then we had veggies and rice. It was sadly not as good as I was hoping for, but it was still good and I think my taste buds were off. Personally I think they still are because my favorite things to eat are sugar and boy is sugar good. Anyway, they got there around 1:15 and had lunch. Normally we would have waited for them, but we couldn't because Gaupo had his lunch from 12:00 to 1:00, so we needed to eat while he was home. I felt a little bad serving them food they had to reheat, but it was good food and I didn't have to make new stuff, so really it was all good. Anyway, they ate lunch and the girls played with them for awhile and then it was naptime. Us adults, visited for a bit and then had adult naptime. It felt really good. Once we woke up we just hung out for a bit. Then we got the girls baths, and fed them dinner. Then we all got ready to go to Living Legends. It is a production done by BYU. I am so glad we went. Kylee was really tired by the end, but Tia loved EVERYTHING!! Especially the blue ones. Tia was captivated the whole performance. Then the actors come off the stage at the end and Tia wanted to meet as many as she could. She talked with probably about 4 or 5. It was really fun to watch her talk to these dancers. I loved that some of them really actually took the time to talk to her instead of just glancing her over because she loved it. She was so chatty about it in the car. One of her direct quotes was, "I want to get my hair done. That is my dream." I don't she just loved it. Kylee liked it two, but she was pretty tired by the end. However, the next day she wrote 3 sentences about it and drew a picture and she still talks about it too, so I think it was worth it. Also, I thought it was really cool. I thought they did a good job, and it was fun to see all the different costumes and dances and everything. Once we got home stayed up a little bit, but around 11:30 we all went to bed.

9:00 church dawns a little early on these fun weekends. 10:00 church would be no problem, but 9:00 is just a little too early. However, we managed to get there early and enjoy church together. It was fun to be at church and have Kitt and Matthew with us. Our meetings went really good. I love the changes to the Relief Society curriculum. We are definitely still learning and changing things, but the actions and ideas that come from these council meetings are awesome. Our presidency meeting today was so much more focused and productive because of the council meeting it was great. I really love this call to action. To be honest sometimes I am not really sure what I can do, but I can at least pray and act on the revelation I receive, and these meeting totally lend themselves to inspiration and action. After church, we came home and had lunch. It was a hodge podge of leftovers, but it was so tasty. Okay, I had pizza and banana oatmeal muffins, but it was so good still. Then I got to visit and enjoy Kitt and Matthew some more and we had another adult naptime and then sadly we had to say goodbye and send them on there way. It was so good to have them visit. After they left we did some video chatting, family council, and made an obstacle course before we had dinner. Then we video chatted some cousins after dinner.  It was a great Sunday.

Yesterday and today have been good too. Tia and I enjoyed each other on Monday. I was a little lazy and didn't get up to exercise early, so Tia rode her bike while I ran and also talked me into stopping at the park. It wasn't my plan, but it was so good. We played and played. We even ran away from the bad guys, explored an island, flew plays, and drove boats. It was so fun to pretend with her. She really has quite the imagination. I wish there was some she could use it with. I am okay at it, but nothing like having a kid your own age who can do it. Then tonight I took the girls swimming and we went alone. Don't get me wrong I love when Trent and Tori come, but it was fun to just go by ourselves and do whatever we wanted. My kids wanted to show me all their tricks. We played in the deep water, they dove for rings, and they had fun. It was great to just run on our schedule and do our own thing. Sometimes, you just have to take time to be us. 

I think through these last two weeks I have been reminded of that. I have been reminded that I need to take time to be us. Take time to do small and simple things and enjoy my family. Now that doesn't mean I can't do stuff with other people, I just need to remember to do stuff alone to. Kids are so special and unique and I love my kids the best of all. They are totally awesome. They have such great personalities and desires and I love when I can take the time to enjoy them for who they are and what they are doing. Family is such a precious thing. And Heavenly Father has a plan, so when our plans don't work out we need to rely on his. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sometimes It's Hard

Before I start this post, I want to say that I love being a mom and most times I feel I do a pretty good job with my kids. I love the good times and I don't mind the bad most of the time. My girls and Gaupo are my biggest blessings. Every time I think of what my life would be like without them, I just stop because, because they are with me my life is so much richer. My life is great, but that doesn't mean it isn't challenge free and that I don't have times were I really have no idea if I am doing anything at all right. But, I am so glad I get the opportunity to be a mother to two beautiful unique girls and a wife to a always supportive husband.

Lately I have been dealing with some challenges around here and the thing I struggle with the most about them is I don't feel like they are my fault. I don't know what I could do differently to make them not happen or prepare better for them. I think in the last couple of weeks and especially today and the previous few days I have been amazed at how my children's decisions affect me. Some are pretty harmless like a couple of weeks ago when Tia pulled the fire alarm at school and caused a whole school fire drill. She owned up to it, and the staff member that found out and handled the situation did a superb job handling it. She didn't get mad at Tia, but she also didn't trivialize it. She got down on Tia's level and really talked to her about why pulling the fire alarm is not okay and that she is not to do it again. As I observed this, I noticed how Tia totally payed attention to her and listened, so I am really hoping it got through. Even though pulling a fire alarm is bad, it is pretty harmless, but you know what it still had consequences that affect a lot of people. Yes, it affected me because I had to stand outside without my coat, but it also affect the people that were in school that day who's learning got interrupted. It is amazing how a little choice can have so much ripple effect.

This weekend we were going to do so much fun stuff, we had a great weekend planned, but of no fault of her own Tia got sick. That meant Aunt Kitt couldn't come visit, we couldn't go to dinner group, she couldn't go ice skating, Trent and Tori couldn't come over, and we had to do some extra cleaning. I know it doesn't sound like that big of deal, but when those are your plans it is a big deal. I hate to admit it, but it totally ruined my Friday. I was so looking forward to Kitt coming and playing and spending almost 3 days with us. I was looking forward to doing things as a family, but then none of it could happen. I haven't gone into a depressed nap for a long time, and I didn't realize how long until Friday when I took one and how I wanted to stay under that blanket forever, because there were no problems or responsibilities there. I did get up and the weekend actually turned out just fine. No, Kitt didn't get to come, but dinner group got postponed till yesterday instead of getting totally cancelled. We watched part of a movie as a family. I got to have some one-on-one time with Kylee at ice skating. Kylee got invited to meet a friend there and it was fun to watch her interact with him. I got up the gumption to go shopping. I bought my first pair of skinny jeans and a new pair of shoes (teal Vans). I actually love all the things I bought. I took my friend and we had a good time together. Tia was doing better on Saturday, so I did take the girls for a bike ride and to the park. So, the weekend did go good it just didn't go as I had planned and I didn't get to see Kitt and that was really rough.

Then today was rough. Okay, only two parts of it. The first part happened when I caught Kylee in a lie she told. This morning she built a really cool tinker-toy thing by looking at the picture on the box. Which was awesome, but then she told me that her and Tori had already built it. I questioned her knowing they hadn't built it here. She said "Oh, Tori got Tinker-Toys for Christmas. She didn't tell you." I asked her, "Kylee is this a story or is this for real?" She assured me it was real. Well this afternoon I asked Tori if she got Tinker-Toys for Christmas and she replied, "No." I then walked over and told Kylee she needed to go to her room. She promptly got sorrowful and asked how long she had to stay up there, and was it just till she could remember to tell the truth. SHE TOTALLY KNEW! I couldn't believe it. She herself connected the dots of the fact she told a lie and I knew. I don't know if I handled it right. I sent her to her room for 5 minutes. It was actually longer because I got busy. Then we talked about it a little. Then I asked her, "So, what are you going to do next time?" She said, "If I tell you can I get out of this room?" I said, "Yes." She said, "I don't know." I said, "Well, when you can figure it out you can come out." I think that handling was all good and well, I am just not sure I should have said that the next time she does it she can't play with her friends. I said that because for me the thing I need to trust my kids the most with is their friends and what they do with them. So, anyway I don't know. She did eventually come downstairs and tell me that she wouldn't tell lies anymore and if I asked her about it she would tell me if it was something she made up or not. So, we will see. I just feel like 5 is so young to start lying and I know it wasn't about anything big, but I don't want it to be about anything big. I want the lying to stop now, so that we never ever lie about big stuff because that can be dangerous. I don't know it is so tricky to teach your kids, and still have them want to talk to you. I just pray that it will be okay, and that my kids will want to do good.

So, that was pretty rough, but then it got added on when my friend asked us to not come play for awhile because Tia can't stop picking up her son and it is stressing her out because Tia often time either drops him or makes him cry. Now, I know she shouldn't do this and this is the best way to handle it. Really, I probably should have done this sooner, but saying you can't see your friend for awhile because your kids can't handle it--well obviously for me it was to hard. However, I can obey honest, good, requests, so we will. But, I am so sad. I love visiting with my friend. My kids love playing at her house and with her. They actually will still get to see her more than me because she takes them to school. Augh, it just isn't fair sometimes. However, I have to teach Tia to listen and that she can't just go picking up babies. Luckily this baby is pretty big, so I don't think she can really hurt him, just scare him. But, we go around little babies and she needs to know she can't touch them unless their mom is okay with it. So, even though this totally bites that I can't go over to my friends house and she probably wont come here because it is actually probably more stressful this is what needs to happen. It just totally stinks. 

Today Kylee wondered when she could be a mom. Sometimes, I wish I could let my kids be a mom just so they know that even though it has a lot of perks it does have its not so great parts too. I mean I love eating treats when I want, buying my own food, cooking things I like for dinner, going to bed when I want, and stuff like that. However, I don't like stuff like what has happened recently. Plus the every day stuff like kids telling you they don't want to eat the food you just worked to make, or cleaning up messes, or figuring out how to pay bills, or you know just the growing up stuff of life. Anyway, obviously I get kind of flustered when other people choices affect me like super directly. Plus, my kids are only 4 and almost 6 so I have to know/figure out how much of this they can handle. Like can they handle knowing that their choices totally mess with me and my life? Or do I just settle for the fact that they need to know its bad? I don't know. I really do have good kids, just sometimes they don't make good choices, or do things there are not suppose to--like back talking my another adult, my friend. I totally had to have a talk with Kylee about that.  She was being sassy to my friend. We talked and she was warned that if it happened again then I got to take her to school. (My kids are not a fan of this just so you know. I must spend plenty of time with my kids because they sure love when I let them do things with their friends mom's on their own.) I know there are tons of people with way bigger problems, but these are big to me. I didn't see these types of things coming. I mean I guess I knew they would, but it seems like my kids are too little to be even having these kinds of problems. Guess not. 

Raising kids is hard. I do feel blessed to be able to do it. I just want so bad to do it right. Choosing the right brings so much happiness and joy into your life and I want that for my kids, but they get to choose. Even at 4 and 5 they have to choose to be good and obedient. I can't make them do it and to be honest even though it would be easier I don't want to make them, because then they would never experience the joy and peace that comes with choosing the right. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for the gift of agency and also for Jesus Christ because I am not perfect, so I need him, so I can repent and be forgiven of my sins. I need Jesus, Heavenly Father, and the Holy Ghost to help me choose the right, raise my kids, and be part of a family. I defiantly can't do it on my own and luckily I don't have to. I have Divine help, but I also have Gaupo who is always there for me. He supports me and tries hard to do his best to fulfill his roles in our family. I couldn't do what I do without him and his support. Being a mom isn't easy, but I can't imagine doing it on my own. I am so glad that I have Gaupo and Heavenly Father to help me. 

Motherhood is a divine role and it is worth all of this. I love my kids I am so grateful that I get the time to know them both for who they are. I am so grateful for the gap after Tia. I have needed it to get to know my kids to soak up all the good and savor those moments, but also to know my kids. They each have unique needs, abilities, talents, and personalities and I am so glad I have to chance to see. I am sure if Derek were here I could still have done it because that would have been the plan, but because I don't have him here and there is a gap and not having more children has really helped me appreciate all I do have. So, I cherish the good. I can't say I cherish the bad, but it does teach me a lot and hopefully my kids will learn from it and so will I. Motherhood is awesome. I love it. I know you probably have your doubts after this post, but trust me being a mother is the best. It is totally worth everything to watch these sweet children of God grow and become. So, even though it is hard I will choose to embrace motherhood.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

4-Day Weekend

This past weekend was so great. As usual, it was very hard to return to normal life today and I did skip some things like waking up early and exercising, but did manage to do plenty of good things and be much better at eating healthier.

This past Friday morning a little bit before 3:00AM Jack, Oma, and Papa arrived at our house. I didn't greet them or anything when they arrived, but it was good to know they had gotten there. Because of their super late night/early morning they didn't get up anywhere close to when they normally do. Papa and Oma got up around 9:00 and Jack didn't get up till almost noon. It sounds crazy, but they really did and honestly who wouldn't? They were up so late. Anyway, Tia had speech on Friday morning and Oma went with us to that. On our way home, we stopped by Sprouts and Sams to get some needed/wanted groceries. Then we came home. Jack and Papa were waiting for us and it was time for lunch. So, we had lunch and then the girls played for a short bit and then it was nap time. During naptime Oma took a much desired nap, Papa just relaxed, and Jack and I played Rivals of Catan. Jack had never played before and it had been awhile since I had played the basic game, so it was really fun. Towards the end the girls woke up, but we finished and then had snack time. After snack we decided to take the girls to the park. It was so cold outside, but the girls had a blast. They rode their bike there and then they got to play at the school park. Things were a little wet, and gloves definitely don't add any traction, so they went down the fire pole super fast and had a little struggle with slipping on a couple things, but toward the end they had a blast playing on the slide. They would climb up and then go down and it had a story/motive to it, but I think only they really knew what was going. While the girls were doing that, Papa tried out one of the spinny seats and got it going and couldn't figure out how to stop. Luckily Oma was there and figured out that he wasn't just spinning for fun and went and stopped him. Oma asked what he would have done if we hadn't figured it out and he said he would have jumped. Oh boy, we were laughing so hard. Papa was just doing a laugh, but both Oma and I had tears because it was so funny to watch. When we came home, we got dinner started and enjoyed that. Then we watch Despicable Me 3. I don't recommend it, but it was fun to play and enjoyed eating on of our favorite movie treats of Goldfish and Chocolate Chips during it. After the movie we got the kids to bed and visited for a bit, but didn't stay up too late because we were all tired. Oh, it was so good to know that this wasn't the only day we had with them.

Saturday dawned with everyone up a little earlier. Although, I did get spoiled and sleep in because Papa kept my girls very quiet. It was so nice. I don't know why I like sleeping so much, but it really is a nice luxury sometimes. After we woke up we just kind meandered through the morning. The plan was to have a late breakfast, so we did successfully do that. It was worth the wait too, with pancakes, sausage, eggs, and hashbrowns. Oh I love that kind of breakfast. After breakfast was all eaten and cleaned up we just let the girls play for a bit. My favorite moment was when Papa said he would play babies with the girls and picked up a truck to take them to the store. Well Tia, kicked the truck and Papa said he was going to call the police because someone beat up his truck. Well, Tia walked away, so he said it wasn't that bad, but then she did it again. I know there was a reason why she did it, but I don't remember. Anyway, Papa called the cops to come arrest the person messing with his truck. Oh it was pretty funny. Tia was totally clueless as to what Papa was talking about and Papa thought he was playing well. It just goes to show a couple of things--boys and girls play very different, and don't mess with a boys truck. After playing for a bit we went ice skating. I don't know that my dad has ever done it before, but he did great. My mom was a little unsteady at first, but just like riding a bicycle she picked up and I think really enjoyed herself. Jack I think also really enjoyed it and he had the great luxury of having skates big enough for his feet (size 15) and they were like new, so that was great. We skated for a good hour and half and then went home and had snacks. I took the girls for a short bike ride and then came home and got ready for Kitt's Colorado party.
Tia skating on her own.
Gaupo and Kylee
Kylee on her own.
Tia and Papa talking.
Oma skating.
Papa, and Uncle Jack.
Kylee, Me, and Tia.
Uncle Jack and Kylee. He was so great to help take these girls around.

Oma and Papa skating together.
We left for the party around 2:45 and stopped at Wendy's for some dinner. I tried my first baconator fries which were delicious. It was really good food. I am sorry, but I really do like Wendy's. I have had it quite often lately so the flavors are not quite as awesome as they use to be, but it is still really good. After getting dinner, we went to the party. We were of course the first ones there which was great, because my mom's childhood friend surprised her and they got to visit for awhile. It was so fun to see my mom, just totally want to soak in being with someone. It was also fun because I got to talk to Matthew's mom a little bit and it was so great. We talked about having kids and man alive she has quite the faith. Anyway, it was fun to see the Blaylock's in their stomping grounds they were way more comfortable and you could totally tell. It was fun to just sit back and enjoy. I got to hang with Jack, chase my kids around, and eat way to much cheesecake and brownies. It was a great party. After it was over we helped clean up and then we went to Blaylock's to open presents. We were there until about 10:30. It was so late, but the girls were amazing. They hung on, and were well behaved. They got a little bored, but still didn't do too many bad things. We finally got home around 11:30. Then I took a shower and went to bed around Midnight. I haven't ever been to one of my siblings 'other' parties. I mean I may have gone to Jack's, but I don't remember it at all. So, it was really fun to go to a party where we just enjoyed. Plus, I am actually really glad we went to the Blaylock's home. I think seeing people in their homes is so fascinating because they really are so at home there and the homes tend to really show what the family values and let you know a little about them. It was well worth the night, but let me tell you 6:00AM came way to early.
Kylee, Kitt, Matthew, and Tia.
My favorite Brother and Me.
Jack, Oma, Kylee, Kitt, Matthew, and Papa.
Matthew, Kitt, Kylee, Tia at the present opening.
Tia, and Kylee snuggling in Kitthew's new blanket.
I did manage to wake up at 6:00, but I had to go back to sleep after reading some scriptures. Oh man was a I tired. Luckily my family was able to help me out with getting my girls ready for church. I love taking visitors to church. This time I didn't get to enjoy it quite as much because I was helping and investigators children find classes, and announcing this and helping Tia with the scripture. I don't know it was kind of a busy Sunday. However, I still loved having my family there. I know your not supposed to be proud or show-off, but I sure love showing my family to everyone because I love them and am very proud that they are mine. After church, we came home and had some lunch. Then it was naptime. I think everyone took at nap. I don't know that the grown-ups all did it at the same time, but we did all take naps and we chatted and just enjoyed doing nothing. We had a great dinner and then leftover cheesecake and brownies for dessert. Once the kids were in bed, Papa, Jack, Gaupo, and I played ticket to ride. It was fun and funny. For example, it seemed every time it was Papa's turn he would say "ummm, now let's see." I am so glad he played though. It was really fun to just hangout together. After the game, Papa went to bed, but Gaupo, Jack, Oma, and I stayed up talking till late. I love late night chats. If you haven't noticed from the last few posts I love talking/chatting especially with my family. I don't know it seems like the more time we have the better talks we have because we get past the catching up and into life and the real things that we like or struggle with. I don't know it is just really nice. Once it was good and late we all went to bed.

I slept in again on Monday. I feel bad, but my kids sure love the time they get one-on-one with their Oma and Papa when I do. We had German Pancakes for breakfast and then just hungout and played for awhile.
Gaupo, I, and our German Pancakes.
It had snowed a little here and so we took Oma and Papa to the sledding hill. It wasn't the best sledding snow, but we got a couple good runs and I know they had fun. Here is a video of a triple-decker run. Oma, Kylee, and Tia on one sled. It is so great.

When we came in we had cassadia's for lunch and had naps. During naptime, Kitt and Matthew arrived.
However, this happened before they arrived. It is how three adults take a nap on the couch.
Papa, Matthew, and Kitt.
So, we of course chatted with them. It was really fun. Then when the girls woke up they played throwing bean bags with Jack, Kitt, and Matthew. They did that pretty much until it was time for swim lessons. The girls had swim lessons and invited everyone to come. Poor Kitt and Matthew the girls informed them that taking nap wasn't an option, they needed to come. So, we watched the kids swim. I didn't get to visit as much as I hoped, because another mom was there talking to me, but hopefully it gave time for everyone else to talk to Kitt and Matthew. After swim, we came home and started baths and dinner. We made Mormon enchiladas for everyone. They are a little colder than I would have liked, but sometimes that is what happens when you have to make 7 plates of them, and then 2 kid meals. However, it was fun to gather for dinner. Full kitchen tables are the best! After dinner, we had FHE. Kylee and Oma gave the lesson and Tia conducted. Everyone did a great job. At 7:30 we had to send Kitt and Matthew away, and that was very sad, but we survived. Then got the kids in bed, and guess what--chatted. Oma need to get the bag packed before Papa went to bed, so while she was doing that Jack, Gaupo, and I got to just chat. That was great because we got to talked about when to take a chance, and how to do it, and why Jack did what he did, and just stuff like that. I really enjoyed it. We didn't stay up too late because the AZ folk had to get up and leave at 3:30 in the morning. So, we said good-bye and went to bed. I actually ended up waking up to say good-bye, but we still said good-bye the night before just in case.

I am so glad I got this family visit. It was great to have a four-day weekend were we just played and got to do it with family. It was fun to stay up late, and get up late. It was fun to visit, and philosophize about life. It was enjoyable to share Longmont with my family. I know they have been here before, but I love sharing it every time. I love my family, so I am so grateful to have had this time with them. I feel very blessed.

**most photo credit goes to Jack

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Family Letter 2017

2017 has been a great year for our family.  Our family had the opportunity to play a lot this summer. This led to our family spending added time together and having fun new adventures. The girls would probably say their favorite adventure this summer was learning about roller coasters. We visited two as a family. We went to Elitch Garden's and Lakeside Amusement park. The girls loved both, but we like Elitch best because we were able to do almost all the rides with them, where as at Lakeside we just mainly watched them. My kids love roller coasters and could go on them non-stop. Sadly, there parents can't. Gaupo is better at it than, me because after this year's visit to Elitch the score for me is Elitch-2 Adventure Girl-0. I have lost my stomach both times at this park. I will go back and I will conquer at least once. Besides theme parks we had great vacations to Idaho, and Arizona. The girls and I made trips to both on our own and made another each with Gaupo. We love spending time with family. The girls love playing with their cousins and soaking up love from grandparents. With all these trips the girls are getting to be very good travelers. We might just be taking some fun family vacations in our future, just because the drive wont make us insane by the time we get there. I love watching our family grow and it is fun to do these fun things as a family. Despite our family fun each of us has each grown this year and accomplished great things.

Gaupo had a great year. He has really taken a liking to riding his bike and loves to do it whenever the weather permits. He completed his 3rd year of employment at the Longmont Library and still loves it. He enjoys the people he works with and the things he gets to do. This last fall he completed his second to last semester of his masters degree and is all set to wrap it up this semester. Gaupo currently serves as the ward mission leader in our ward and enjoys serving with the missionaries. 

Adventure Girl-Hey, that's me. Motherhood is my main occupation. However, I have enjoyed babysitting daily for a friend and doing some contract work. It has been such a blessing to have this employment. I still run, although not quite as much as I use to, but I really enjoyed playing outdoors with my family. I currently serve as 2nd counselor in the Relief Society, so I get to plan the fun monthly meetings for the sisters. I have also been blessed to make some wonderful friends who are also stay-at-home moms with children that like to play with my kids, so I have enjoyed playing with friends while my kids play with theirs. 

Kylee started Kindergarten this year. She loves going and learning. It has been a challenge for her, but she has really enjoyed it. She says her favorite part is recess. However, she is turning into quite the writer. She loves to write, color, and play a school game called Lexia. Kylee loves riding her bike, being read to, playing with friends, and swimming. She worked really hard and moved from the alligator level through seal, and is currently is Blast 1. She can do all the floats and roll-overs and can swim a pretty good distance. She also is trying to ice skate which is pretty cool. Kylee is a great big sister and plays with Tia a lot. Kylee loves going to church, having Family Home Evening, and watching movies.

Tia is in preschool. She started about a year ago, but this fall she started at a new school (the same one as Kylee) and she and I both love it. She is progressing well in speech. She can write her name when she decides to and can recognize it really well. Tia learned to ride a two-wheeler this year and loves, loves, loves to ride her bike. Her favorite place to ride it is to the park, where she loves the sand, slides, and swings. Tia is also swimming and in Blast 1. She loves to rock climb, and can reach the top on the kid wall at our rec center. Tia also loves church, playing with Kylee's friends, trains, real babies and watching movies. She also loves playing with Kylee especially when they play family.  

Our family I feel like has had quite the year. True it is all 'normal' stuff, but we have had a lot of fun growing individually and as a family. We love being together, and learning. We look forward to this coming year and the many, many adventures I am sure it will hold for us.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Tia is 4

Tia turned 4. I think Tia thoroughly enjoyed her birthday, but it was a little not so great for me. It only was because things were too rushed and just didn't quite feel as I thought they should, but the main thing is Tia loved it, and we did indeed celebrate it.

The celebration preparations started the night before when I half made Tia's birthday sign. I was like yeah, I will get half of it done and let the girls help with the rest and it will be awesome. Well it was until Kylee pointed out that it was Tia's 4th birthday not her 3rd like all the signs said. Augh!! Well, I remade the half I made the night before and Kylee helped me finish the other parts. So, we got the sign up and I got them balloons even though I didn't have them already done because we were all decorated for Christmas and I wasn't sure how well Christmas and balloons would go, but the girls were so excited for balloons I just couldn't say no. After the birthday sign was done and balloons out. I got ready for the day and then Gaupo came down stairs and we gave Tia her first present...Her new 'big' bike. It is a 16" two-wheeler. It is a little big, but she has gotten the hang of it and all of us are in trouble. Okay, not really but boy is she speedy on that bike. Luckily her birthday was perfect outdoor weather, so she was able to ride a little before we had to get Kylee to school.

However, while Gaupo was helping her ride in the house an owey finger she had burst. So, we decided that we needed to add a doctor visit to our agenda of the day. So, while I was making pancakes and I called the doctor and got an appointment for 3:00 that afternoon. Kylee ate breakfast really good, but Tia didn't and I ended up taking hers in the car with us. However, she just really wasn't that hungry. Anyway, we got Kylee to school, and then Tia and I went shopping to pick up the fruit we needed for her birthday dinner--pancakes. Then we rushed that home and went to speech. Speech was pretty good. After that we headed to her 'party.' For her party, I swung by Little Ceasers and grab 2 pizzas. I dropped of two slices at home and picked up Trent and Tori. Then we headed out to Sandstone Ranch to meet up with Jacob, Sis. Carolyn, Jensen, Calvin, and Sis. Bethany. We arrived just after Jacob and the rest arrived shortly after. The next two hours were spent visiting over pizza, the kids riding bikes and playing, and soaking up some bright Colorado sun. It really would have been the perfect day, but Carolyn, Bethany, and I seemed to not get our conversation to jive and flow like we normally do, so it was more awkward than I had thought, but boy oh boy did the kids have a great time and were not ready to leave. However, once we were home they went down easy for naps. The only problem with that was I needed to be at the doc at 3:00 with Tia. So, I tried asking Bethany, but she couldn't . I made a few more calls and finally found someone that could come right then to stay at home so I didn't have to take all the kids with me. Jennifer Bigham was the one that came to the rescue and I am so glad.
The kids were 'ice skating' on this patch of ice. 
The doctors wasn't too bad. They told us her finger was infected, but it was still in the tissue, so oral antibiotics would work. So, it was like 3:30/3:45 and I went to get the prescription and they said the wait was 5-10 mintues. I was like perfect that will give me ample time to get home. Well, it took FOREVER, because apparently they don't carry the medicine the doctor prescribed and, so they had to get another one and refigure the dosage. AGHHHH!! Finally about 4:20 we were on our way home and I asked Tia if she wanted her blue cake that night or the next. She said that night. (I shouldn't have offered, oh well.) So, I got home and started on the cake. Now, I was too cheap to buy ice cream, so I was making the cake glutten free so Kitt could eat it. Well, it just takes time to make a cake from scratch. However, I got it made amidst the choas of 4 kids and started one layer cooking. When it was done, I turned off the oven because I was going to wait to do the next layer. However, I changed my mind and put the second layer in and then set the timer and had dinner. Well when the timer rang I checked the cake and guess what, I didn't turn the timer on. AGHHHHHHH!!! You would think I would just stop, but no I kept going. I baked it. Then let it cool. We played with a couple of the gifts Tia had already opened while waiting for the cake to cool and Aunt Kitt to come. Well, Aunt Kitt was pretty late, but I got the cake decorated, but it looked pretty terrible. Finally Aunt Kitt got there. We opened the rest of the presents and had cake. It was NASTY!! Not because it was GF, but because instead of just dying it blue I put blue jello in it and then frosted it with normal frosting. It was gross. No one finished a piece of it. I actually threw the whole thing away, except for the blue candy I pulled off so Tia could eat it the next day. Needless to say, it was  pretty rough day. Kitt had had a rough day to at at the early hour of about 10ish we called it a night deciding any conversation we had would not be productive or uplifting, so we went to bed. LAME!! However, it was totally for the best because we both need sleep and a restart.
Tia with her Train from Kylee.
Tia eating her Birthday Dinner.
Tia opening presents.
Tia with her blue cake.
Gaupo, Me, Kylee, and Tia.
Us silly girls.
Tia on her birthday night. She carried her baby in the new pack n play out to the hall to fall asleep. Sh was one tired girl.
Luckily that wasn't the end of our weekend. Saturday was the next day and it was pretty leisurely. Kitt and I didn't wake up until about 8/8:30 the  next morning. I fixed us a delicious breakfast of eggs, sausage, and french fries (we didn't have hashbrowns). Then I started making preparations for our High Heel Party. It kind of took a bit of work to make tiny tarts, and egg salad, but it was worth it. At noon we held are party. We had dainty finger sandwiches, crackers, clementine oranges, and lemonade. For dessert we had tiny tarts. Apparently my kitchen was having an issue making desserts because the tarts weren't that great, but everything else was great. We ate on fancy little plates I got from my RS dinner earlier that week. We drank out of fancy glasses. Okay, Kylee was the only one with a fancy glass, the rest of us drank from jelly jars, but they were glass and it totally worked. We enjoyed dainty talk and wearing our heels. After we finished eating we had a dance party and then naps. I honestly don't remember if my girls will remember anything about this party, but I do know that moments like this are worth the effort because they are what allow for good memories and relationships later.
The girls and I making the pudding for tarts.
Our classy high heels.
Us with our fancy food. (Kitt, Tia, Kylee, Me)
A close up of our food.
The Tarts.
Kylee drinking from her fancy cup.
Anyway, while the girls were taking a nap, Kitt and I headed out to find Matthew a Christmas present. We were successful at Lowe's. Kitt got him a really handy tool kit that I think he will like and use a lot. When we got home Kylee was awake, but Kitt and I snatched a moment downstairs to show Kitt what the girls were getting for Christmas. Then we played games and just chilled for a bit before getting a dinner of greasy tacos ready to eat. After a great dinner it was time to say good-bye to Kitt. We got her stocked up on some good sugar supplies and sent her off. It was a little sad to see her go because I knew it would be a long time before she could come back to just hangout. However, I am glad it was a good weekend.